There is no better place to begin your 3-day adventure exploring Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, than a visit to one of the most famous monastic sites in Ireland, which is only a short 40-minute drive from the hotel. While the site is stepped in history and Irish culture, you don’t have to be a history buff to simply enjoy the peace and tranquility of Clonmacnoise.
A top tip from the staff, would be to take a short drive to the nearby town of Athlone and cruise along the River Shannon to Clonmacnoise, on the Viking Boat – you won’t be disappointed with the craic and stories from Viking Mike and his crew!
Grab a coffee at the Courtyard Café and enjoy a stroll along the spectacular award-winning gardens of Birr Castle. Take in the beauty of an abundance of rare trees and plants and make sure you stop by to see the world’s largest telescope from 1845 until 1917.
The grounds of the castle are the most idyllic location for a lunch time picnic- bring your blanket with you from home and stock up with some delicious homemade savoury and sweet snacks from the Coffee Dock at the Tullamore Court Hotel, before you take off on your adventure in the morning!
An extra bonus if you are planning your staycation during the month of September, a Balloon Show happens annually at Birr Castle and is a spectacle to see!
The gothic style Charleville Castle, is said to be one of the most haunted castles in Ireland! According to legend, the castle is said to be haunted by a little girl called Harriet, who was the daughter of the 3rd Earl of Charleville, who died tragically in the main staircase of the building when she was only 8 years old. Some visitors believe they have caught her on their cameras, as they can see a shadow on their pictures taken within the castle!
You will probably be feeling peckish and in need of a cocktail, after a busy day exploring the history and beauty of the Hidden Heartlands. There is no better spot to relax and enjoy fantastic food and great drinks, than The Furlong Bar.
There’s nothing quite like the craic every Friday and Saturday night, as The Furlong Bar showcases some of the finest music the Midlands has to offer!
The Greenway follows the pleasant canal towpath, which was formally used by powerful draft horses pulling barges laden with goods and passengers. The Offaly Grand Canal Greenway stretches from Edenderry in the east to Shannon Harbour in the west of the county.
There’s no better way to see Offaly than from the saddle so enquire at reception about our complimentary adult bikes and…. peddle, peddle, peddle and peddle some more!
With an exhausting morning ticked off, you are due a well-deserved lunch break. A staff favourite would be the Captain House Restaurant, located on the Main Street. As the name suggests, everything follows a nautical theme. The Captain House pulls out all the stops and once inside you’ll feel like you’re in a real-life fishing village in the Midlands!
Now that you have had lunch, you might care for a tipple? Well in that case, we’ve got just the ticket for you! A trip to Tullamore D.E.W Visitor Experience is a firm favourite for our guests. Sip on almost two centuries of history, learn the art of Irish whiskey making and hear the tales of the distillery’s early workers; with a dram of whiskey, bursting with flavour, in hand. Bottoms Up!
Finish off you day in style, with a candlelit dinner at the Blue Apron Restaurant. It is an multi award-winning restaurant and the menu is varied with something to suit everyone’s palate; from locally sourced meat, to fresh fish and a contemporary vegetarian menu inspired from Kenan’s Turkish roots, who is one of the owners.
Here’s a fun fact, that always sets us into overdrive: All dishes are made from scratch. O Bellissima! When you hit this joint there’s only one thing to say… Bonne appétit!
Get out your walking shoes and escape to the countryside. Before you leave the hotel, we would recommend to pick up some delicious snacks our Coffee Dock, you may need these while out on your walking and cycling adventures- Thank us later!
The Slieve Bloom Mountains are an amazing hidden gem, nestled in the heart of Ireland’s Midlands and one of the oldest mountains in Europe. It has a network of walking trails that delight and excite every level of walker. Top Tip- No trip to the Slieve Bloom Mountains is complete without walking through Kinnitty Forest, there’s a great choice of 5km to 11km long trails but the Kinnitty Castle Loop is a must for any walker.
Hit the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trails, which is the perfect activity for those who crave adventure! Feel the exhilarating adrenaline rush of mountain biking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. There are some amazing routes to choose from which range from moderate to severe, so there is something for everyone! You can rent a bike or book a tour with Mid Ireland Adventure in Kinnitty.
After an adventure packed morning, an ice-cold pint and lunch, would probably hit the spot right now! Be sure to stop by the picturesque village of Kinnitty, nestled in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and pop into Giltraps Pub.
And…. Relax! Finish off an action packed 3-day trip, with some well-deserved pampering in this boutique beauty salon. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the first floor of the Tullamore Court Hotel, lies Elma’s Beauty Salon. It couldn’t be more convenient for you and your partner to visit. Choose between a wide variety of professional treatments across massages, tanning, facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures.
Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious meal prepared for by our Executive Head Chef David O’Donnell and his talented team. The Brasserie is tucked away in a quiet corner on the mezzanine level of The Furlong Bar. The Brasserie menu offers a stunning selection of hand-picked prime Irish beef, freshly-landed seasonal Atlantic seafood and a host of delectable dishes that celebrate the finest Irish flavours.
At the weekends, enjoy a glass or two of wine in front of some of the finest live music sessions the midlands have to offer.